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Rabbit Health:
Home Care for Rabbits

After your rabbit has seen the vet and the acute problem is stabilized you may have to provide home care for your rabbit. This often involves syringe feeding, syringe administration of medications, and sub-cutaneous administration of fluids.

To syringe feed, make sure you get a 35 ml or 65 ml catheter tipped (not lura-lock) syringe from your vet. You should have also gotten packages of an Oxbow product called Critical Care, a powdered form of food for sick rabbits. (You can also use SARx Rabbit from ⇒Sherwood Forest.) The powder comes in flavors and can be mixed with baby food applesauce, squash, or any approved fruit or vegetable that your rabbit particularly likes. The mixture may need to be diluted with w ater. Insert the syringe in the side of the rabbit's mouth and gently push the liquid into his/her mouth. Take care not to squirt the fluid down the rabbit's throat and into his/her lungs. Most rabbits are not fond of this procedure and will not be at their most cooperative. Critical Care is sold by veterinarians.

Most rabbit medications come in suspensions of fruit flavored liquids that can be administered by pulling the correct dosage into a dropper and then squirting the liquid into the rabbit's mouth. Many rabbits learn to like the flavor and will eagerly suck the fluid from the dropper when offered. See links below for detailed information about medicating your rabbit.

If your rabbit is not eating or drinking, is having diarrhea, s/he may have become dehydrated. You can check your rabbit's state of hydration be lifting up the skin at the scruff of the neck. If it snaps back into place, your rabbit is well hydrated. If it stays tented and is slow to return to its normal position, your rabbit is dehydrated (skin tenting equals 5-7% dehydration). If your vet feels that your rabbit needs more fluids, s/he will give you saline solution to inject sub-cutaneously at the scruff of the next. The usual dosage is 100 ml/kg of body weight (1 kg = 2.2 lbs.) Your vet will instruct you in this procedure before you leave the office.

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